During pregnancy, you may notice that the hair on your head is thicker than usual. After pregnancy, you may find that you'll lose a lot of hair a few weeks or months after delivery. These changes are normal. Hair growth generally returns to its regular growth cycle within six months after delivery.
When you're not pregnant, the hairs on your head grow in a regular cycle. Each hair:
The hair on your head may appear thicker while pregnant. This is because higher hormone levels prevent normal hair loss. During pregnancy:
Once you have your baby, your body will try to return to its prepregnancy shape. This includes your hair. After delivery:
Other hair growth
Some women also develop more hair on their chin, upper lip, cheeks, arms and legs during pregnancy. You also may notice new hairs (sometimes even just one or two) on your breasts, belly and back.
Hair growth on the face, arms and legs during pregnancy is normal. Pregnancy hormones and increased cortisone cause this type of hair growth during pregnancy. This growth usually lessens within about 6 months after pregnancy. Your hair growth will then return to its regular growth cycle.
What you can do
You can do several things to have a healthier head of hair during pregnancy and after delivery:
To get rid of unwanted hair growth:
When to talk to your health care provider
If you have a lot of hair loss or lose quarter-size patches of hair, you may not be getting enough vitamins or minerals. Losing a lot of hair may also be a sign of a medical problem unrelated to your pregnancy (such as a skin disease or a thyroid disorder). Talk to your health care provider if you feel that your hair loss is unusual or excessive.
Knowing the signs of pregnancy can help you tell if you’re pregnant. Here are some signs that you might be pregnant:
If you have any of these pregnancy signs and think you may be pregnant, go to your health care provider. The sooner you know you're pregnant, the sooner you can begin prenatal checkups and start taking good care of yourself and your growing baby.
You'll start feeling your baby's kicks at around the 28th week of pregnancy. By this time, your baby's movements are usually well established and some health care providers recommend keeping track of these movements.
Keep counting until you've felt 10 movements from baby. If baby doesn't move 10 times within 1 hour, try again later that day. Call your health provider if your baby's movement seems unusual or you've tried more than once that day and can't feel baby move 10 times or more during 1 hour.
Popcorn popping. A little fish swimming. Bubbles. Butterflies. Tickles. These are common words used by women to describe their baby's first movements. Also known as "quickening," it's a reassuring sign that your baby is OK and growing. This milestone typically starts sometime between 18 to 25 weeks into pregnancy. For first-time moms, it may occur closer to 25 weeks, and for second- or third-time moms, it may happen much sooner.
At first it may be difficult to tell the difference between gas and your baby moving. You might not feel movement as early as you are expecting to feel it, but you'll notice a pattern soon. You'll start to learn when the baby is most active and what seems to get her moving.